What do term limits and blimps have in common?
They’re both filled with hot air.
Now that the election season is ramping up, I see that the issue of term limits for elected officials has been re-animated by at least one candidate.
And that’s a pity.
Advocates for term limits usually are from the political party that is out of power.
I would wager that the candidate I hear crying for term limits would change his tune if somehow Ronald Reagan were still alive and seeking his ninth term as president. (To be candid, I would be just as happy if Franklin Delano Roosevelt were still among us and in his 21st term as President.)
But other than sour grapes and hypocrisy, term limits are a waste of breath and valuable time. The whole idea of term limits is insubstantial and is a distraction from what politicians should be doing, should be talking about.
It is impossible to tell from an official’s voting record how many terms he or she has served.
Just as it is impossible to tell from how many terms an official has served what his or her voting record is.
That’s because there is no necessary connection between what a legislator does and how long he or she has been doing it.
There are legislators who are incompetent and/or venal from the very first day they are elected to serve.
There are legislators who are competent and public-spirited after serving for 20 years.
And vice versa.
But a long time as a legislator might make them stale, less energetic.
But it can equally be argued that long-time legislators have wisdom and valuable experience.
No, it’s what legislators do, and how they vote that is important.
So, as you approach the next election, don’t be distracted.
Look at the important issues.
Look at the candidates’ views on the important issues.
And vote for the candidates who will do what you think is right.